Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Decorate With Gourds!!!


I'm going to decorate with tons and tons of gourds!  I'm going to have piles of them outside my door.  I'll cut off their tops and use them as candle holders. 
I'll paint them,
I'll poke beads into their shells,
And I'll use big gourds as a place to pile small gourds!

This house will be overflowing with them!

There's just one problem with this plan...

At the moment I have one mini pumpkin that I got at the farmers market, and a gourd that my daughter chose while we were at the grocery store.

Totally not enough.

Looks like I'll need to remember to plant gourds for next year, right?

In the meantime, though, I'll be looking around for more, while deciding what to do to turn them into the perfect decor.  

We've already talked about a simple way to create fall decor using a mason jar, so now we need to learn how to decorate using gourds.

Naturally, my first worry was preservation.  

You can hardly feel like you're being eco-friendly if the gourds you work hard to use (instead of plastic) decide to rot and grow mold all around you.  Fortunately, I found a good tutorial on that process, courtesy of ehow.

Basically, you have to go through a lot of washing (with borax) and drying.  

The washing is done in hope of destroying any mold that may have taken hold, as well as cleaning off any unsightly dirt.

The drying needs to be done in a warm, dark area, and goes on for a few days.  You'll need to throw out any of the gourds that become disfigured or mushy.

Everything that's left becomes part of your smashingly beautiful decor for the season... or maybe for the next few decades of seasons!  How awesome is that idea?

I've been looking through site after site, and blog after blog, trying to find just the right ideas.  Some ideas are simple, yet beautiful in concept.  

I liked the simplistic design ideas that I found via Restyling Home By Kelly.  Kelly doesn't spend time etching, painting, or carving.  Her concepts are warm and simple.  They make a person feel comfortable, and at home - stress free.  

Ahhh... heavenly relaxation.

For something that requires a bit more hands-on effort, however, and uses more color, I found the techniques used by Pam of Gingerbread Snowflakes to be rather exciting.  She draws on the gourds, using tools like colored pencils and sharpies, 
- I love sharpies! - 
bringing colorful designs to life on gourds 
that have otherwise drab colors. As she points out, this would also be a great project for kids!  And she even makes them into Christmas ornaments!  


Still not enough for you?  How about if we paint everything and do some etching on top of that?

Still not big enough?  

Ok, I'm up for the challenge.  How about if we use fire?

That's exactly what Vickie of Vickie's Sketchbook did.  She uses pyroengraving.  How awesome is that?  Granted, I'm not about to do it - I'd simply manage to burn the entire gourd.  If you want to do it, however, that link to her site gives you a tutorial.


There's so much you can do with gourds, and I can't wait to begin.  I've never really taken the time to decorate for fall, being more of a Christmas person, but I've discovered that for whatever reason, gourds really make me... well... happy!

They're much more eco-friendly than their plastic counterparts, and if properly preserved, can last for a very long time.  Do you decorate with gourds?  

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